Patterico's Pontifications

5/1/2014

Time To “Check Your Privilege”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:39 pm

[guest post by Dana]

On the heels of the excellent essay Patterico linked to earlier, White Male Student “Checks His Privilege”, and in keeping with the theme of privilege, Buzz Feed has a very scientific survey you can take to discover just how privileged you are.

I took the survey and was informed that I live with 60 out of 100 points of privilege. Oh boy!

Here is what that means,

You’re quite privileged. You’ve had a few struggles, but overall your life has been far easier than most. This is not a bad thing, nor is it something to be ashamed of. But you should be aware of your advantages and work to help others who don’t have them. Thank you for checking your privilege.

If you take the survey, remember, there is no shame.

–Dana

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I got 55. What a stupid quiz. I’ll never get those five minutes back.

UPDATE BY DANA: Well, yes, it’s stupid. The give away was describing something in Buzz Feed as “very scientific”. As if.

72 Responses to “Time To “Check Your Privilege””

  1. Ding!

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  2. and, survey says, i’m underprivileged….

    where do i apply for reparations?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  3. OMG! I got a 75. But most of these “privileges” are simply consequences of self esteem, which everyone should get from a two parent family.

    felipe (098e97)

  4. 4. I’m sorry I’m too old to remember well enuf to test well in this instance. I decry the blatant youth preference.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  5. What a stupidass quiz

    Otto Maddox (990b3b)

  6. the only way to win is

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  7. Some of the questions where confusing. What is this question about?

    I have never tried to distance myself from any of my identities

    What does that mean? Is it asking if you’re schizophrenic? Here’s my score.

    You live with 33 out of 100 points of privilege.

    You’re not privileged at all. You grew up with an intersectional, complicated identity, and life never let you forget it. You’ve had your fair share of struggles, and you’ve worked hard to overcome them. We do not live in an ideal world and you had to learn that the hard way. It is not your responsibility to educate those with more advantages than you, but if you decide you want to, go ahead and send them this quiz. Hopefully it will help.

    Tanny O'Haley (c0a74e)

  8. Think about what Peter did when someone “fingered” him. He distanced himself from his identity as an apostle. “Distancing” is just a way of saying “lying”. an honest person is thereby privileged.

    felipe (098e97)

  9. Ha! Compared to Dana and Philipe, I am, at 56 of 100, underprivileged.

    I had no idea what some of that meant… and are you harassed for the purposes of this quiz when engaging in the usual (at least back then) locker room banter and hijinks? Is it sexual harassment to put analgesic balm in someone’s jock strap?

    And I formally protest the fact that this quiz was skewed towards youth.

    Gramps, the original (944632)

  10. You live with 20 out of 100 points of privilege.

    You’re underprivileged. The world is not a fair or ideal place and you know that because you grew up with several identities that the world is not kind to. You had a lot of challenges to overcome simply to get on a level playing field with most people in the world. It is not your job to educate the world about its injustices, but if you choose to, go ahead and send them this quiz. Hopefully it will help.

    OK, that’s just silly. I have tried, at times, to educate some bosses, sometimes to good effect. I actually was honest in answering, but some (well, most) can be read to refer to events that were the result of isolated idiots. I suspect if I was a grievance collector … but every one I know has had those problems in one form or another growing up. Maybe that’s what is important — growing up. Or at least growing up in the 1950′s.

    htom (412a17)

  11. I got a 33 and I have no idea why…

    Gazzer (17a0f5)

  12. This test is preposterous. How many ways can it ask if you are gay? It seems like 20 or 30 times. Going to college is privilege? Graduating from college is privilege? Or is it that it confers privilege? I guess privilege can be earned, then. Is that wrong?

    Also: the same test could be about 15 questions and get the same results without being quite as creepy.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  13. Also. some of them are clearly written by people whose idea of ancient history is “before 1996″

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  14. Also, 36: I am not privileged. I had to modify some of the stupider questions (e.g. sallie mae) in order to answer them.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  15. I clocked in at 48. I feel oppressed because I am not gay.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  16. Well, I scientifically checked white and male, ignored everything else since I felt those questions had no relationship to privilege (and it’s all about how I feel, isn’t it?)

    White and male gives me 2. way under :)

    mer (2d74b6)

  17. Got a 35. Stupid test. I’m way more privileged than that.

    LASue (865c76)

  18. I have never been a victim of violence because of my race.

    I got attacked once in Virginia and called me a Dago. And I’m thinking, “Thank God.” For once somebody got it right.

    It stands out as opposed to all those other times I had a tan and the racists thought I was Mexican.

    Which I will do. Still, it was nice.

    Steve57 (525198)

  19. *I got attacked once in Virginia and the skinheads called me a Dago.*

    Steve57 (525198)

  20. I have never tried to hide my sexuality.

    I’ve practically advertised it. For all the good it did me.

    Steve57 (525198)

  21. Not being a victim of sexual crimes isn’t a privilege – this survey is about on par with “Which Wizard of Oz character are you?”

    JWB (c1c08f)

  22. It ain’t no big thing, but those 4 Hawaiian mokes who scuffed me up pretty good in a Waikiki parking lot back in ’66 made sure I paid full price for the privilege of being white.

    ropelight (031e3e)

  23. Glad to hear it ropelight.

    Steve57 (525198)

  24. Ok, if I’m so privileged as a white male, how come everbody is just going to assume I’m a child molester? This thought occurred to me as I was studying the survey. To be accused is to be convicted.

    Or. Or. Wait for it. Remember the DC sniper? I fit the profile. Some privilege.

    Steve57 (525198)

  25. But most of these “privileges” are simply consequences of self esteem, which everyone should get from a two parent family.

    Yup. I didn’t even click the “test”. But I get the idea from the comments. I consider my life blessed and damn proud of it.

    nk (9faaca)

  26. http://www.ehow.com/facts_5541615_chevy-crossfire-injection.htmlC

    Cross Fire Fuel Injection. The best idea Chevy ever came up with. It guaranteed that, for one year at least, the Corvette would not be a collector’s item.

    Steve57 (525198)

  27. Heh, 44 of 100.

    That test isn’t written for the likes of me though. I am not terribly conventional (in any direction) so I tend to answer questions the opposite of what would be expected by those who wrote the test.

    eg:

    I am what would be considered mainstreamish in religious beliefs for the USA, but I didn’t grow up in the USA, and as a result I was subjected to mild religious persecution including threats of violence.

    Likewise for racial slurs, etc. I was white in many non-white exlusive situations. I was asked if my white-blonde hair could be touched, etc.

    I am going to enjoy using this result though. Throwing it in the faces of the cult of diversity and non-privilege will be a new pleasure.

    Dan S (00fc90)

  28. After reading all the comments I have to wonder if the test is designed so nearly everyone is underprivileged. Or are the commentors self selecting to crow about their underprivileged results? :)

    Or are we mostly underprivileged because Nannygov has turned us all into child citizens whose privileges are mostly reserved to the state?

    Dan S (00fc90)

  29. I liked Kipling’s take on First World Privilege better;

    “Take up the White Man’s burden–
    Send forth the best ye breed–
    Go bind your sons to exile
    To serve your captives’ need;”

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  30. Well the internet drug my score down I’m sure. Who hasn’t been called a fag or terrorist on the internet? Am I right!? 60/100

    Dejectedhead (06f486)

  31. Kipling knew his privilege.

    http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/2711

    …When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
    An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    So-oldier of the Queen!

    I am so privileged!

    Steve57 (525198)

  32. Not privileged. But I carry the burden of needing to educate those that are…
    Also am one of the wicked witches winged monkeys in the Wizard of Oz quiz which is nice

    steveg (794291)

  33. I got a 40. Not Privileged. Some of those questions were like an uncomfortable therapy session though. Luckily “having frequent flyer miles” didn’t tip me over the top into having to check my privilege.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  34. Very scientific scoring though. I think “have you been raped” counts the same as “have you traveled internationally.”

    carlitos (e7c734)

  35. I dunno. Sounds like maybe sane people should just avoid the Buzzfeed website and not take the stupid quiz??? :) They’re tracking your IP address for future use, you know.

    elissa (dc627d)

  36. I have never tried to hide my sexuality.

    Nope, I’m a white male heterosexual.

    Not “having frequent flyer miles” isn’t because of lack of privilege, it’s because I don’t like the hassle of flying and I don’t have more than two credit cards which I pay off every month. Yet I scored 33.

    This test is preposterous. How many ways can it ask if you are gay? It seems like 20 or 30 times. Going to college is privilege? Graduating from college is privilege? Or is it that it confers privilege? I guess privilege can be earned, then. Is that wrong?

    Also: the same test could be about 15 questions and get the same results without being quite as creepy.

    Comment by Kevin M (b357ee) — 5/2/2014 @ 12:25 am

    Does being harassed for being a heterosexual count? Or a Christian?

    Seems kind of odd to be harassed for being a Christian when the Supreme Court has said that the United States is a Christian nation.

    Well, I scientifically checked white and male, ignored everything else since I felt those questions had no relationship to privilege (and it’s all about how I feel, isn’t it?)

    White and male gives me 2. way under

    Comment by mer (2d74b6) — 5/2/2014 @ 1:36 am

    Shouldn’t the test give more weight to being white and heterosexual? Isn’t that the very definition of privilege? For that matter, if you check those options, shouldn’t the test stop a berate you for being privileged and the cause of all ills in the world?

    This test is silly.

    Tanny O'Haley (c0a74e)

  37. You’ve been harassed for being heterosexual and for being Christian? Do tell.

    But yes, the test is silly.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  38. I quit halfway through. What a stupid quiz. I will wear the dunce cap for the rest of class.

    Ipso Fatso (10964d)

  39. For those saying what a stupid quiz, well, yeah. Your clue was using “very scientific” and “Buzzfeed” in the same sentence! Of course, that it appears white males seem to be complaining the most is revealing, too!

    Dana (40f6af)

  40. This quiz is up there with “if u were are sport what would u be?

    –carlito is “cross country,” which is pretty funny, given that I ran cross country.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  41. Ha! 42/100 and I’m a (mostly) grown, straight white male!

    BEHOLD MY PRIVILEGE, YE MIGHTY, AND DESPAIR

    JP (66ce26)

  42. Ozymandias be mansplaining.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  43. There’s always a certain percentage of any population with the conviction that society is a conspiracy to deny them their rights. The right to be totally ignorant of any useful knowledge seems to be the basic one. Most societies can carry the burden of these drones—along with the criminal and idiot classes—as mere minority problems. Of course, they still regard any material advantages possessed by the productive as flagrant evidence of discrimination.
    – Keith Laumer

    nk (9faaca)

  44. I’ve been to Japan, so I’ve been discriminated against for being white.

    On one of many trips to the UK, I was apparently someone’s first Irish-person. He came up and started talking about the IRA and if I agreed with it. I think he also thought I was Catholic, so I score there, too. All on the basis of my last name, which, after 7 or 8 generations in America, doesn’t mean all that much.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  45. Also, I’m part Cherokee, but who isn’t? Especially considering that people of all races joined the Cherokee.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  46. That is not a survey of “privilege.”

    It is a survey of possible problems, with a heavy focus on sexual orientation, and worries (or the need to be concerned about) money, and whether you have the benefit of such things as never having to do your own taxes..

    It is geared entirely to young people.

    There’s one every man would check off, and probably no woman: ✓ I have never felt unsafe because of my gender.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  47. 44. Comment by Kevin M (b357ee) — 5/2/2014 @ 1:04 pm

    I’ve been to Japan, so I’ve been discriminated against for being white.

    And maybe the only person of your race in a room.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  48. There’s one every man would check off, and probably no woman: ✓ I have never felt unsafe because of my gender.

    thus proving, once again, how little you know of the real world.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  49. These three things give you “privilege” because apparently most people are not so fortunate:

    ✓ I feel comfortable in the gender I was born as.
    ✓ I still identify as the gender I was born in.
    ✓ I have never tried to change my gender.

    More rare privilege:

    ✓ My parents are heterosexual.

    How about:

    ✓ I am not in the hospital.
    ✓ I am not in jail.
    ✓ I have never gone without water for two days.

    Or

    ✓ I am still alive. (it was estimated in 1981 that 91% of the people who have ever lived are not.)

    http://www.nytimes.com/1981/10/06/science/9-percent-of-everyone-who-ever-lived-is-alive-now.html

    Or:

    ✓ I have both my legs.

    No they got that one already:

    ✓ I do not have any physical disabilities.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  50. Comment by Kevin M (b357ee) — 5/2/2014 @ 12:30 am

    some of them are clearly written by people whose idea of ancient history is “before 1996″

    I’ve always had cable.

    My parents are both alive.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  51. These are interesting:

    ✓ I have never been cyber-bullied for any of my identities.
    ✓ I was not bullied as a child for any of my identities.
    ✓ I have never tried to distance myself from any of my identities.
    ✓ I have never been self-conscious about any of my identities.
    ✓ I have never questioned any of my identities.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  52. Ya know, I took another look at the test because of the “this rest is for young people” comments. I just realized how correct that assertion is. My client demographic is heavily populated in the 4 years to 13 years-old. So I am steeped, daily, in the mindset of that youthful group, so all those questions about parents did not even register as unusual. You want to be young? spend a LOT of time working with/among the young.

    felipe (098e97)

  53. 48. You could be right.

    There are circumstances where a woman would not be attacked, but a man would feel unsafe. (from bullies, haters and robbers)

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  54. Also, the “identities” questions did not seem strange since this is a topic of frequent discussion among my clients.

    felipe (098e97)

  55. Speaking of identities, this is popular among today’s yutes.

    Sponebob loses his identity

    felipe (098e97)

  56. 44. I’ve been to Japan, so I’ve been discriminated against for being white.

    Comment by Kevin M (b357ee) — 5/2/2014 @ 1:04 pm

    Ok. I’ve got to stand up for the Japanese here.

    When I moved to Japan was I discriminated against? Yes. At first. But once it became clear to them I was going to learn the language whether they liked it or not, things changed.

    There was this sushi place I used to go to in Yokohama where I’d park out front and the chefs would race out to park my car. And when I was ready to leave, they’d go get it and pull it out in front. They barely even charged me for the victuals.

    I ruined it because I brought a Japanese friend there. I told him it was not only good but cheap. We walked in and he said, “Steve, I don’t think this place is cheap. It looks really nice.”

    Turns out he was right. They felt compelled to drop the charade and charge me the going rate.

    Point being Japan can be difficult. And, yes, they will make fun of the gaijin. But if you tough it out and get to know the place it ain’t all that bad. The next thing you know, they are your friends for life.

    Steve57 (525198)

  57. I recall being at a ceremony when a JMSDF destroyer was departing for the IO to support us. The Japanese made me form up with them. “We are allies.”

    Then the ship pulled out, and as far as I could tell no one on the bridge was even looking where it was going.

    I was kind of horrified, but apparently they do that all the time.

    It’s a good thing these people are our allies. They’re dangerous.

    Steve57 (525198)

  58. another privilege you can check: deciding where you want to travel overseas…(assuming you can afford to travel, of course)

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-02/friday-humor-you-cant-make-stuff

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  59. You want to be young? spend a LOT of time working with/among the young.

    if i had to w*rk with today’s “utes” on a regular basis, it would be a race between liver failure and acute alcohol poisoning as to what the cause of death was.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  60. You live with 25 out of 100 points of privilege.

    So… does this mean I’m eligible for affirmative action?

    There’s one every man would check off, and probably no woman: ✓ I have never felt unsafe because of my gender.

    Seriously? Do you never go out in public?

    Rob Crawford (45d991)

  61. I’m a straight, white, heterosexual male. I was born in 1961, and have been supported most of my adult life by there fact that my Grandfather was smart enough to get the hell out of the stock market in September of 1929. Both of my parents were college graduates, and my Father had a PhD. I have no college loan debts. If I’m not Privileged, at least by the definition used by the Western Intellectual Twits who are so goddamned fond of throwing the term around, nobody is.

    I scored 32. Mostly, I suspect, because I have been the only member of my ethnicity in a room, I have been taunted for my (hetero)sexuality, I have been subjected to the kind of bigotry that Leftist Twits don’t believe happens to WASPS.

    Hell, anybody who lives in the United States and has a stable enough life to have a mailing address for more than six months at a time, lives in unimaginable luxury compared to, say any of the Crowned Heads of Europe circa 1300.

    We are privileged. Rather than indulge in self-flagellation over it, we should be trying to encourage other peoples to walk the path that we did, which made us so rich; industrialization, scientific farming, and recognizing the Right to Property.

    My hope for the 21st Century is that Juan, and Chang, and M’boto see through the white nitwits who want them to turn their backs on Capitalism, Industrialism, the Green Revolution (look it up; the Greenies HATE it), and all the other paths out of poverty, and boot them to the side of the road on their way to prosperity.

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  62. 28

    I guess growing up white and lower middle class in predominantly hispanic south Texas finally got me something.

    BradnSA (9104fd)

  63. I scored 36. Stop picking on me you haters.

    Seriously, I scored low because I grew up pretty much like everybody else. However, I’m a lot older than the intended audience of this this stupid poll.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  64. Speaking of white privilege, in just over a month one of the very same C-47s that flew over the beach on D-Day will be repeating the deed to celebrate the 70th anniversary.

    The first time she carried elements of the 2nd Battalion 508th PIR, piloted by 1st Lt. James R. Hamilton, co-piloted by 2nd Lt. Ernest R Scott. Her radio operator was SGT Aaron M. Womack Jr. and her crew chief was Sgt. Henry H. Gardner.

    Steve57 (525198)

  65. Sadly the USS Satterlee will not be taking part as she is no longer with us.

    The Rangers remember her, though.

    http://darbysrangers.tripod.com/id110.htm

    The German’s reeled but seemed to recover and rained down a heavy fire of machine guns and potato-masher grenades on the troops. The Rangers faced a dim future at best.

    Lt. Col James E. Rudder C.O. of the Provisional Ranger Force called on assistance from the Satterlee. The Satterlee drew just over 17 feet of water; and coming as close as possible to the action; the Commanding officer placed the Destroyer in harms way short of 1/2 mile from shore…running back and forth parallel to the shore-line and laying down decisive gunfire in support of the Rangers; the 274 man Destroyer gave impressive performance.

    The Satterlee defied every rule of safe naval operation during this combat to support the 2nd. Ranger Battlion and the mission.

    The Destroyer laid in volley after volley and turned and made more parallel passes until Rudder spoke into his radio again; “Very Nice Shooting!…Don’t Go Away.”

    Blackfive wrote about her helmsman a while back.

    If you have studied D-Day, then odds are you have heard about the captain of DD-626, the Satterlee, who said that if beaching his destroyer was what was needed to help the Rangers he would. He ordered his ship into dangerous waters, filled with rock and sand, and provided point-blank fire support to the Rangers. That man above is the person who carried out those orders: John T. Siewert, helmsman of the Satterlee. The captain ordered, and he took her in. He ended up doing so many times over the next few days to so that precise fire could be laid where needed. – See more at: http://www.blackfive.net/main/2013/06/pointe-du-hoc.html#sthash.ngRivbwW.dpuf

    Steve57 (525198)

  66. Check _MY_ Privilege ????

    Hey, nobody subsidizes *MY* rent.

    I don’t get “free money” tossed onto a debit card every month for *MY* grocery shopping.

    The crummy old cell phone I have is one *I* pay for each month.

    What’s this “privilege” thing they’re talking about?

    (Oh, yeah, I remember: I have the privilege of paying taxes so that OTHER people can lounge through life without worrying about keeping a job. Excuse the “senior moment” there.)

    A_Nonny_Mouse (9bef29)

  67. I’m wondering if all these “low scores” of other commenters means that maybe I have great deal to be thankful for – just as NK has much to be thankful for. I remember one particular day in a class I took in Catholic high school when we had a polish priest speak to us about his survival of a concentration camp.

    I can’t accurately spell his name, but it sounded like “shvee-deck”. Anyway, I could tell that he took great care with the words that he used as he described such a horrific event. We truly could not understand how such a thing could be permitted.

    The exercise given to the class after our guest had left (to speak to another class) was to give examples out of our own life of injustice. it seemed that each person had an experience to share except for me. I could not for the life of me find an episode of an injustice done to me. I don’t believe I have ever used the phrase “It’s not fair” in reference to a disappointment I have had.

    No one would believe me. I was asked if any of a myriad of strange (to me) things had happened to me. The suggestion was that maybe I did not recognize injustice. Their efforts proved fruitless, especially when I suggested that they were now trying to manipulate my thinking. It finally ended when the teacher asked me what I would say to a stranger if that stranger were to ask me “what are you”?. I answered immediately without thinking much about the question; “a freshman”. I remember the look on my teacher’s face, a look of shock and then epiphany. He finally said “You are part of a new generation”.

    Was I a “special snowflake”? No. I had all the hardships I could handle. My interpretation of those hardships did not include a sense that I had lost something that was due me. Isn’t that how personal injustice is perceived; being denied that which belongs to you?

    felipe (098e97)

  68. Point being Japan can be difficult. And, yes, they will make fun of the gaijin.

    FWIW, I’ve seen a documentary about foreigners living in Japan and even Americans of Japanese descent who’ve moved to Japan say there’s a social divide, and ensuing discrimination, that exists between them and the natives. But, as is true of people everywhere, a lot depends on context, such as whether a person is in a big city or a small rural community.

    Japan has sometimes been criticized for having a culture that is overly conformist, too much like the US decades ago (eg, where single, pregnant woman and the households they create are frowned upon). But against the framework of America in 2014, I find such traditional conformity to be a relief, a moment of sanity, a sense of reassuring stability.

    That’s why Japan also is an increasingly anomalous society in the industrialized world, at least for the moment. So far, it hasn’t become totally broken down from modern-day liberalism, where non-conformity for non-conformity’s sake — which runs in close tandem with compassion for compassion’s sake — has become a new state religion.

    Mark (59e5be)

  69. Ok, Mark. I give up. Tell me about Japan.

    Steve57 (525198)

  70. What does”intersectional, complicated identity” mean?

    Jeanette Victoria (348266)

  71. I’d guess its a euphemism for “father missing/unknown patrimony”

    felipe (098e97)

  72. ==Japan has sometimes been criticized for having a culture that is overly conformist, too much like the US decades ago (eg, where single, pregnant woman and the households they create are frowned upon). But against the framework of America in 2014, I find such traditional conformity to be a relief, a moment of sanity, a sense of reassuring stability.==

    Interesting. Are you thinking of moving to Japan, Mark? Do you think you’d be happier there?

    elissa (49d595)


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